This is Mika

Over the years I’ve had this blog and sporadically posted, I’ve written about Zoey and about Mika.

The Captain and my husband Jack

Zoey passed away 3 years ago and we still miss her. One day, she went outside with my husband, (her best friend in the whole universe) and laid down and didn’t get up. We carried her back into the house carefully, certain that she had a spinal issue.

She didn’t.

She had a tumor on her spleen that had ruptured. Even with the extreme surgery, we lost her.

Jack and Zoey

We waited a year before we let another dog into our hearts. A year because that’s how long it took, not because it’s a magical amount of time and then suddenly…POOF! …The grief is gone.

No. It isn’t.

I thought we’d foster some K-9 friends and get our puppy fix that way, but in September of the following year, after returning from a wonderful Irish vacation, I started looking for a pup to adopt as our very own.

TA DA!  This was Mika two years ago.


And this is what she looks like now.


I love this dog. There’s no other way to say it but outright. I love that she’s always happy; that she loves me unconditionally; that she just wants to be with us all the time no matter what we’re doing; that she wants us to be happy. All the reasons that people love their dogs…because the dog isn’t the high-maintenance being…WE ARE!

Okay, I can see why that might offend you. I’ll speak for myself…I AM!


She’s going to be 2 years old a week from today. TWO! I’d love to say it went quickly, but in those two years, we’ve amassed a number of experiences I’d rather not live through again:

  • We got asked to leave puppy class. And when I say ‘we’ I mean that I was asked to take Mika to a different class! Or no class, as it turned out in the end. This was because she reacted excitedly to the other dogs. Hell, she began reacting as we hit the parking lot! She knew who was in there…her BFF, the Golden Retriever who always wagged her direction when we entered.


  • We moved on to private training at home, which she loved even more because that trainer, Charmagne Shremshock, brought really fabulous treats and even better toys!
  • With our newfound confidence, we joined an Agility Training Class. IMG_4478
  • We quit an Agility Training Class after Mika decided she HAD to play with the new Golden Retriever who looked an awful lot like the first Golden Retriever who always wagged her direction when we entered class. Can you blame her? Neither can I…except that she faked me out. She stood at my side, so serene, so calm, so obedient (thank you, Charmagne), until I relaxed my death grip on her leash. And then she lunged! I fell backward and Mika kept going toward her prize…the Golden standing so innocently beside the Cat Walk. She pulled me across the gymnasium floor on my back! We weren’t asked to quit that class…but I quit.

Photo on 4-30-18 at 1.29 PM #2

(Sure she looks innocent NOW!)

  • She nipped our ankles every time we walked across our living room.
  • She chewed everything she could sink her teeth into and some things that she couldn’t sink her teeth into.IMG_3136
  • She unrolled rolls of toilet paper.
  • She emptied waste baskets.


  • She thought kitchen countertops were just another level of ‘floor’ and therefore NOT off limits.
  • She learned how to open interior doors.
  • She learned how to howl…yes, HOWL, and not at the moon. The moon has nothing to do with Mika’s howling.
  • She decided going for a walk meant it was time to audition for lead dog on a sled team.



And then, about a month ago, she decided she’d had enough of this puppy stuff…on her own, though I wonder if my twitching eyes and nervous ticks had anything to do with her decision. At any rate, she’s not perfect. She’s not totally mature or a master at K-9 Etiquette, especially when she just meets you and has to…apparently is driven to…stick her nose up your butt.


But she’s my lovable, cuddle-able, 100% charming mutt and I love her!

Do you have a dog? Show us pictures already!







5 Ways my dog helps me to be a better person…


After her spay, she was miserable. These cones were created in the Elizabethan era to keep women from dripping coffee onto their silk dresses…and now they’re used to torture post-surgical canines.

How did this make me a better person?


  1. CANINE FASHION SENSE! After ordering this, she is twenty times more authentically Elizabethan!

Yesterday, we went to our first Agility Class…angel-luciano-1103962-unsplashPhoto by Angel Luciano on Unsplash

NO, that isn’t my dog. My dog was the one NOT in the class very much. Why? Because she disrupted the entire class and so we spent most of the hour class in the restroom discussing appropriate behavior. Why the restroom? Well, because the door was there when I needed to get her out of the agility ring…I thought it led to the lobby and once IN the restroom, how could I actually gracefully walk back out there and ask for the exit door? So, how did this make me a better person?

2. Embarrassing moments make us stronger…I felt weak when I walked into that restroom accidentally, but when I walked out, my dog who was still confused about her purpose in the class, yanked me straight into the instructor standing outside the restroom door as the class looked on; well, that humiliation made me feel like Super-Woman!



3. I have become very, very creative about culinary presentation!


There are days that our down-sized home and yard just don’t cut it for an energetic 14-month-old German Shepherd puppy. She decides that in her boredom, she should be able to tear the blinds off the windows, check out what’s at the bottom of the ceramic vases, chew on the brass singing bowl to try to get that perfect meditative pitch, or chew the stitching on the quilted bedspread….How does that make me a better person?

4. I really, really, really appreciate large fenced-in spaces in the great outdoors.

And finally, how am I a better person because of my dog?


In spite of her abundance of energy, curiosity, mischievousness, and destructiveness, she has these moments of quiet beauty; moments when, like all dogs, she looks at me as if I’m lovable, capable, and flawless. If she is able to see past my faults, why can’t I return the favor?

So, the most important way my dog has made me a better person:

5. She has helped me be more accepting, more loving, more patient.

And now I must close without any witty summarization of my point because my puppy is now doing something loud and destructive-sounding downstairs…GOTTA GO!

If you aren’t already a pet owner, think about adoption!